Nine Yorktown Christmas Events That Will Leave You Feeling Merry & Bright

It’s the most festive time of the year in Historic Yorktown!  

Bright lights are strung. Holiday wreaths are hung. Stores are stocked with seasonal gear. 

Santa Claus is in town. Children are running around. And fun Christmas events are near. 


During December, Yorktown is pleased to give to thee, nine events full of glee and wonderful memories.

Christmas Tree Lighting

Christmas Tree Lighting

York Hall & Riverwalk Landing
Friday, Dec. 1
York Hall festivities begin at 6:30 p.m.
Tree lighting at 7:30 p.m.

On the first event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, a Christmas tree lighting you must go see.

Christmas officially begins in Historic Yorktown when the community gathers for the illumination of its 20-foot artificial giant Everest fir. This tradition goes all the way back to 1945, when Reverend Claud G. Barkley, pastor of Yorktown Baptist Church, and staff from the County Clerk’s office, decorated a cedar tree that stood at the corner or Main and Ballard Streets. The York County Historical Committee works hard to keep the tradition going! 

Gather at York Hall by 6:30 p.m. Then follow the Fifes and Drums of York Town as they progress from York Hall to Riverwalk Landing, where the tree lighting ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. 

Bring the kids (and your camera) to this event. Capture the moment when your good little boy or girl tells Santa what’s on their Christmas list. Step inside the Freight Shed to sign Christmas cards that will be sent to members of the armed forces who are stationed overseas.

Christmas Market on Main

Christmas Market on Main Historic Main Street

Saturday, Dec. 2 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On the second event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, shopping galore on Main Street.

Yorktown’s Christmas Market on Main gives shoppers the opportunity to find one-of-a-kind items for anyone on their Christmas gift list. During this two-day event, nearly 100 vendors will line the street to sell everything from festive paintings and handmade soaps to Christmas wreaths and wooden toys.  

Strolling entertainers Dickens Trio (Saturday) and The SantaBones (Sunday) will serenade guests with Christmas classics like “Joy to the World” and “White Christmas.” 

On Saturday, the Town Crier will ring in the market and the Fifes and Drums of York Town will perform. Watch model trains trek around a festive holiday display in the basement of York Hall. Best of all, stop by to say hi to Santa, who will be waiting for you next to York County’s first fire truck. 

On Sunday, observe how a talented sculptor transforms a block of ice into a frosty, shiny piece of art and admire antique cars decked out in Christmas décor along Historic Main Street.

Lighted Boat Parade

Lighted Boat Parade

Yorktown Waterfront
Saturday, Dec. 2 | 6 to 8 p.m.

On the third event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, dazzling lights sparkling on the sea.

You’re sure to get into the holiday spirit with this annual seaside tradition. Join us at the waterfront for the Lighted Boat Parade. Arrive at 6 p.m. to pick your spot on the beach. While you wait for the parade to begin, stand by illuminated braziers to keep yourself warm, sing Christmas songs, and drink complimentary apple cider courtesy of the Boy Scouts. At 7 p.m., watch captains cruise their boats along the York River. Then vote for the vessel you consider Best in Show. For added safety, be sure to bring flashlights to assist in navigation around town at night.

Viking Yuletide Celebration

Viking Yuletide Celebration

Watermen’s Museum
Saturday, Dec. 2 | 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 3 | 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

On the fourth event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, a Viking lesson and yuletide jubilee.  

Continue your Christmas journey to experience a unique, “mari-time” event at the Watermen’s Museum. Join Odin and local Vikings as they celebrate the Yuletide. Observe a Victorian age reenactment and hear St. Nicholas contrast both eras’ contributions to today’s holiday celebrations. The Museum will be hosting games, crafts, shows, and more.

Cookies with Santa

Cookies with Santa

Gallery at York Hall
Sunday, Dec. 3 | 1 to 4 p.m.

On the fifth event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, Santa, kids, and irresistible treats.

Sweeten up your child’s day by joining Santa for cookies at the Gallery at York Hall. Be sure your kids bring their wish lists to share with Santa during this free event. While you’re there, stop inside the Gallery to peruse for ornaments or seasonal mementos to add to your expanding holiday décor collection.

An Enchanted Evening on Main Street

An Enchanted Evening on Main Street

Historic Main Street
Friday, Dec. 8 | 5 to 9 p.m.

On the sixth event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, an unforgettable, eventful evening.

During Yorktown’s second annual An Enchanted Evening on Main Street, immerse yourself in the magic of the season amid festive music, hot apple cider, and even chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Bring a date or your entire family to partake in the delightful activities this event has to offer. 

The Fifes and Drums of York Town will kick off the event. Kids (young and old) can make crafts, admire a live nativity scene, or visit Santa so they can share what they desire for Christmas. Shop for ornaments or last-minute Christmas gifts from local artists. Snuggle up by lit fire cressets, sip on hot drinking chocolate or mulled wine, and enjoy the sweet sounds of the Williamsburg Youth Symphony at Mobjack Coffee Roasters and Petite Café and Little York Confectionery.

Clan MacCool Band and colonial performers will also be ambling down the street to sing classic Christmas carols and tell stories. The Dickens Trio will play music in York Hall and an ice carving demonstration will take place outside. If you get hungry, you can grab dinner at one of the food trucks stationed on Main Street. 

Mistletoe Market

Mistletoe Market

Riverwalk Landing
Saturday, Dec. 9 | 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On the seventh event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, food, music, mistletoe, and holly.

During our last Yorktown Market Days' event of the year, you’ll find almost everything you need to make your family’s favorite holiday recipes. Vendors at the Mistletoe Market will be selling cheese and chowders, baked goods and jams, as well as wreaths, soaps, and seasonal artwork. 

The day will be full of festive activities. Guests will be able to dance to Christmas music thanks to snazzy holiday DJ Ben Herrick.

In the Freight Shed, snap a picture with the man whose belly is like a bowl full of jelly. While you’re there, check out model railroad cars navigating miniature holiday displays and make an ornament you can take home and put on your Christmas tree.

Next door, watch an ice carving demo in front of the LOVE letters. Then wander a little further down the road to hop on the Polar Express (a trackless train) for a ride around Riverwalk Landing. 

At 1:30 p.m., join fellow community members to march in the annual Toyland Parade. Dazzle onlookers with your handmade signs and Christmas costumes. Everyone – even your pet – is invited to walk in the Toyland Parade led by the Fifes and Drums of York Town.

Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America

Yorktown National Cemetery
Saturday, Dec. 16 | 12 p.m.

On the eighth event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, wreaths for fallen military.

Join fellow patriots at the Yorktown National Cemetery to memorialize fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom at Wreaths Across America Day. Fresh Christmas wreaths will be placed on grave markers during this remembrance ceremony conducted by the Yorktown Coast Guard Station. 

The ceremony is open to the public, with parking at the Battlefield Visitor Center. All wreaths are sponsored by numerous civic, veteran, and auxiliary organizations throughout the community. If you’re interested in personally sponsoring a wreath, or want to volunteer in wreath placement, please visit this website.

Christmastide in Virginia

Christmastide in Virginia

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
 Dec. 16-31 | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Closed Christmas Day)

On the ninth event of Christmas, Yorktown gives to thee, revolutionary holiday history.

Get a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretive programs and demonstrations at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Learn about winter camp life and hear accounts of Christmas during the Revolutionary War.  Observe exciting artillery demonstrations and assist the quartermaster in prepping military supplies. View demonstrations of holiday activities, including setting a farmhouse table for a holiday feast and decorating with greenery. Enjoy festive holiday musical performances daily at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.